Spaghetti Westerns (or also known as Italian Westerns), a sub-genre of traditional western films were the rage during the mid-60s due to Sergio Leone's film-making style and international box office success ...especially here in the United States. These movies were directed and produced by an Italian director and staffed by Italo-Spanish technical production with a cast featuring Italian, Spanish, German and American actors like Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, Jack Palance, Klaus Kinski, Chuck Connors, Franco Nero, Yule Brynner - just to name a few. And the best trilogies of this genre were directed by Sergio Leone and scored by Ennio Morrricone as well as other Italian Western composers such as Luis Enrique Bacalou, Francesco Di Masi and many others. This genre also got a new lease on life after its disappearance in the mid-70s from such modern directors like Robert Rodriguez (Mariachi trilogy) and Quentin Tarantino (Django, From Dusk To Dawn).
Why this brief history about Spaghetti Westerns? Well, blogspot readers, SouthSide recently visited The Hungry Brain (located in the Roscoe neighborhood) where she had a chance to hear some of the famous movie music from this sub-genre come to life once more by the local band Duck, You Sucker with Organ Yank headlining this two-act lineup. Coincidentally, the band took their name from a Sergio Leone 1971 movie which starred James Coburn as an Irish revolutionary who crosses paths with a Mexican bandit (Rod Steiger) during the Mexican Revolution. Musically, this local group did a phenomenal job recreating classic compositions from movies such as Carambola (a 1974 comedy-western inspired by the popular Trinity-series about mismatched gunrunners who challenge a rival for the hunt of a $500,000 reward), Django The Last Killer (a 1967 movie which not a sequel to Franco Nero's Django) and Grand Duel aka The Storm Rider (a 1972 movie directed by Giancarlo Santi who was also Sergio Leone's assistant director on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West). Each epic piece was given the upmost respect when covering the boisterous horns and woodwinds sound combined with gritty rock music and Holly doing the whistling and vocal arias even though she was sometimes overshadowed by the band. DYS' love and appreciation for this Spaghetti Westerns was definitely felt throughout this special performance, blogspot readers. These timeless classics were performed with vigorous gusto (when needed) or in a slight yet spirited downtempo rhythm depending on which movie Duck, You Sucker was covering. While listening to the music being performed, this reviewer had her moments of vividly imagining either the opening or ending credits ...or a particular scene playing in her head. If you're a fan of this movie genre, SouthSide then highly recommends checking out this local band at their next performance wherever the dusty trail leads them to a venue near you. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/Duck-You-Sucker/.
With a quick change in the band lineup, SouthSide went from Spaghetti Westerns to lively neo-soul/R&B when Organ Yank took over the stage, blogspot readers. Featuring Danny ( also of Duck, You Sucker) on saxophone (as well as in a flowery dress and matching hat), this quartet of musicians rocked The Hungry Brain with funky, toe-tappin' rhythms and swinging beats heard in songs like Mommy & Daddy, LG Special and Bacon (a song about breakfast). If you like rockin' your evening out with a jam band, then Organ Yank is definitely the type for you, blogspot readers. It may have been cold outside with the winter-like winds blowing but not inside this venue ...not with this band producing some summertime heat felt throughout the set. What made this band so unique was the way their music would change from one extreme to the next within the songs. For example during Mommy & Daddy, this reviewer was fooled by the song's opening downtempo rhythm before sucked into the vast world of complex notes and complicated sound where they had music floating in and out of range. At times a song like this one, it left her confused and scratching her head ...other times, she was confused thinking Organ Yank was way out of tune and off key. Yet, believe it or not, blogspot readers, she thinks that's was the idea. They wanted you not knowing where they're coming or going during this musical journey. The confusion of wacky chords meddling with the melody simply illuminated the complexity of the band's music that somehow ran in sync with each member. Sounds a bit confusing, huh, blogspot readers? But without giving too much away, you have to hear and see this band perform live to get the complete picture of what they're all about. So many twists and turns bedazzle the mind and senses that you think you're a gentle lull ...then again are you when the music sounds so boisterous and confusing with a touch of electrified cosmic wizardry here and there. Overall, don't expect the unexpected from Organ Yank because this band comes with tricks and surprises of their own that will definitely wow and amaze you. Sit back and enjoy the cosmic journey till the end, blogspot readers. For more information, visit Organ Yank at http://www.organyank.com.
Until next time, support your local scene,